Picture of Interface for 4D Trajectory Management in Interim Airspace
MSc Assignments

Interface for 4D Trajectory Management in Interim Airspace

Requirements:Design and evaluation
Lead Researcher:Dr ir Clark Borst
Other specifications:Full time

The project

In this thesis assignment you will design a tactical control interface that helps air traffic controllers guide aircraft along 4D trajectories. In the far future, the on-board avionics of all aircraft will be capable of adhering to 4D trajectories defined in position and time targets. In the near future, however, an interim airspace will exist where some aircraft cannot adhere to such strategic constraints due to inadequate equipment, and therefore still need to be controlled in a tactical way. Such a “mixed-equipage” environment can hinder the development toward mature trajectory-based operations. A possible way to solve this issue is by supporting air traffic controllers to guide such aircraft in a tactical way along predefined strategic 4D trajectories. This requires a new kind of tactical control interface that stands in between current tactical operations and future, 4D trajectory-based operations, that allows controllers to guide aircraft along 4D trajectories by giving speed, heading, and altitude commands in order to have them arrive at specific waypoints on time.

Your efforts

In this project you will design such a tactical control interface to be used in an interim airspace. This effort involves: 1) creating 4D traffic scenarios with existing software, and 2) design the tactical control interface. If time permits, a full-scale human-in-the-loop experiment needs to be conducted in the ATMLab to evaluate the interface prototype.


For this project, programming in Java (using OpenGL) is needed. Therefore, the student should have a high interest in learning to program. Of course it helps if the student already has some basic programming skills and experience. Note that the programming involves extending our existing tools and thus doesn’t involve creating everything from scratch!

Project outline

The first 3 months cover a preliminary graduation (Literature Study (AE4020), combined with the course Research Methodologies (AE4010)). During this phase you will perform a literature survey and “sketch” the prototype interface. The preliminary phase will be finalized with a presentation and report. In the remaining 6 months you will further develop, implement and evaluate your ideas as part of final thesis phase (AE5310).